Left-hander Darin Downs doubled down on life-changing moments one night in November. His wife was ready to give birth to the couple's second child and Downs was packing for a trip to the hospital when his phone started buzzing. Whatever it was — whoever was calling — could wait.
Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle let Downs tell the story:
"Loading the car, trying to get in the car and all of a sudden I was looking at my phone," Downs, 28, said. "I had a couple missed calls, a couple text messages. So I call one of the front office staff from the Tigers, he says, 'Oh, you've just been claimed by the Astros.' I'm like, 'All right, cool. I'm going to the hospital.' "
His wife gave birth to a boy, and they're both doing well. At any other moment in his life, Downs might have been taken aback by changing teams. But Downs says he's actually getting used to it. Even though he has only pitched for the Tigers in the majors, the Astros are Downs' fifth organization.
"My whole career has been a change, back and forth, this team, that team," Downs said. "So I'm excited for the opportunity with the Astros. I'm just going to come in and work and try to win a spot like I did last year and the year before. Nobody's going to give you anything in this game anyway."
In 56 career big-league innings, Downs has posted a 4.34 ERA and has struck out 57 batters. He's also limited left-handed batters to a .202 batting average. If used the right way, he has a chance to be a valuable asset for the Astros bullpen. And we know he can keep his head in a tense moment.
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